John Lee Zeigler, from Kathleen, GA played guitar upside-down and backwards in a style that directly reflects African griot traditions. In the late 1960s George Mitchell recorded Zeigler, and in the 1990s Tim followed George’s footsteps through the music of the South.
During several visits, Tim recorded quite a bit of Zeigler’s best recordings, in addition to his only known acoustic recordings. In addition to playing stylized versions of several traditional numbers, Zeigler had a penchant for Rhythm and Blues, in particular Sam Cooke. Here he is playing Cooke’s 1962 top 20 hit “Having A Party,” listed here as “Listen Mr DJ.”
A full length Zeigler album is currently in production. In the meantime, more can be heard on the Blues Sweet Blues compilation reissued this holiday season.
-Aaron and Dom